Is that sleeping pill you took last night making it tougher for you to drive in the daytime? What about a heart medication? Or a new antidepressant? New research shows that many people taking prescription drugs aren’t aware that their meds could impair their ability to drive. “Most are aware of the potential dangerous side effects of sedatives and narcotics, but other medications — such as some antihistamines, some antidepressants, some blood pressure medications, muscle relaxants and even stimulants — may affect driving ability,” noted Dr. Alan Mensch, who reviewed the study findings. The findings have both medical and legal implications, added Mensch, who’s medical director at Plainview Hospital in New York. “Not commonly appreciated is that a DUI (driving under the influence) charge may not only involve alcohol or illegal substances. Drivers can also be charged with DUI related to prescription, as well as over-the-counter medications,” Mensch noted. The new study was led by Robin Pollini, of the Injury Control Research Center at West Virginia University. Reporting Nov. 1 in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, her team tracked 2013-2014 data from the National Roadside Survey. That survey asked more than 7,400 drivers at 60 sites across the United States about their current medication use. Nearly 20 percent of the drivers reported recent use of a prescription medication that could have affected…  read on >